Those seemingly innocent- looking wounds should not be ignored particularly if you got the wound from a firecracker burn or explosion.
Time and again, government health officials are reminding the public to be wary of small wounds or scratch from a firecracker and fireworks that accidentally exploded. Small wounds can cause tetanus infection.
The incubation period of tetanus could be as short as one day to usually five to 21 days. But there is the so-called delayed setting of infection. These are wound that were not treated and have already healed.
Clostridium tetani, is an acute bacterial disease-causing rigidity and spasms of the voluntary muscles, can easily enter the body even through a small scratch on the skin.
The bacterium is usually present in soil that has not been exposed to sunlight and found in manures of horse, cow and carabao.
Tetanus infection is often fatal. About 95 to 99 percent of the patients died from its complications. But recovery rate is also high if the infection is treated immediately.
Patients are given anti-tetanus immunoglobulin and tetanus toxoid vaccines as treatment.
Take note of the following signs and symptoms if you do have these innocent looking wounds.
- Stiffness of the jaw muscles
- Severe muscle spasms
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing.
If you worry that you might have the infection, seek medical help immediately. Do not self-medicate.
Source of information: Author’s phone interview with Dr. Franklin Diza, of the DOH.
Pictures are not mine.